There's an update to a story reported Monday about a self-described Wall Street whiz kid. Mohammed Islam said he made $72 million investing on the stock market in a New York Magazine interview published this week. However, after a flurry of attention Monday, the teen said he made it all up, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller
The rumors of Mohammed's self-made million dollar fortune reportedly began at his high school late last year. That's when the 17-year-old from Queens realized he would turn those rumors into an elaborate, exaggerated lie.
In an online video for the Leaders Investment Club, Mohammed Islam appeared to be a young professional with a knack for picking stocks.
"From an early age, I've always had an interest in finance and entrepreneurship," he said in the video. "Having earned reputable returns over the past years, I'm glad to say that trading is a passion."
Instagram photos show the 17-year-old easily making friends. As the investment club president at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, he even presented a lecture about his supposed financial prowess.
But in an interview with the New York Observer, the self-described teen tycoon admitted it's all a sham:
"You seem to be quoted saying 'eight figures.' That's not true, is it?"
"Is there any figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?"
"So it's total fiction?"
New York Observer editor Ken Kurson interviewed Mohammed and his friend, Damir Tulemaganbetov, who also took part in the hoax.
"I think that he wanted to impress people and he told a few fibs and got this reputation as this master investor and once that reputation is rolling how do you unwind it?" Kurson said.
In this week's issue of New York Magazine, Mohammed is ranked "number 12" of "reasons to love New York" because he "made $72 million trading stocks on his lunch break."
"We want to create a brotherhood," Mohammed told the New York Magazine reporter over a round of "freshly squeezed apple juice." "Like the Koch brothers," he said.
"Like in 'Wolf of Wall Street." Damir added.
New York Magazine has since retracted the story's title and the online article contains an editor's note which states, "Our story portrays the $72 million figure as a rumor. Mohammed provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures, and he confirmed on the record that he's worth eight figures."
"People want stories, they want them fast, but they also want them right and there is tension between getting them up there quickly and getting them up there correctly," Kurson said.
In a statement to "CBS This Morning," representatives for Mohammed said his millions are about as real as "Monopoly money." New York Magazine released a statement of apology Tuesday:
"We were duped. Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers."
Mohammed said he's especially sorry for embarrassing his family.